Universal Access To All Knowledge
Home Donate | Store | Blog | FAQ | Jobs | Volunteer Positions | Contact | Bios | Forums | Projects | Terms, Privacy, & Copyright
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload

Reply to this post | See parent post | Go Back
View Post [edit]

Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffJ.B. Nicholson-Owens Date: Mar 24, 2005 6:04am
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Uploading Flac vs Shn

I recommend going with FLAC over Shorten.

They're both lossless audio codecs, but FLAC is implementable anywhere; the reference implementation is free software (software you can freely share and modify). FLAC is also unencumbered by patents, as far as I know.

Shorten's software is non-free because you can't legally distribute modified versions. Thus, even if you fix bugs in your copy of Shorten software you can't help your community by sharing that improved version.

FLAC also has significant technical advantages over Shorten: FLAC compresses better than Shorten, FLAC files can easily use Ogg encapsulation (the reference implementation supports it right out of the box, as it were), FLAC can include a cuesheet (very important for reproducing CDs), FLAC file support is found on portable digital music players (like some Rio players) and digital jukeboxes as well as player program files, and FLAC files are seekable and streamable.

I don't think you'll get the combination of ethical and technical advantages FLAC offers in other lossless audio codecs. Hence, I recommend transcoding all of your Shorten archives to FLAC and generating FLAC files instead of Shorten.

Check out http://flac.sourceforge.net/comparison.html for a comparison of lossless audio codecs. The author might not stress this, but I would weigh heavily the importance of handing someone a file they have to use non-free software to play. This need not happen again if we use free software codecs.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffDiana Hamilton Date: Mar 24, 2005 9:48am
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Uploading Flac vs Shn

Hence, I recommend transcoding all of your Shorten archives to FLAC and generating FLAC files instead of Shorten.

Hmm, the people of etree.org strongly recommend not simply doing so, at least for circulating copies of things, unless you're doing some other work on the fileset for a reseed. See first question of http://wiki.etree.org/index.php?page=FlacFaq

...BTW I saved a copy of the license for the original Shorten, the code that's been probably tweaked, variously ported and redistributed noncommercially for years now: http://research.umbc.edu/~hamilton/shnlicense.txt

This post was modified by Diana Hamilton on 2005-03-24 17:48:41

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffJ.B. Nicholson-Owens Date: Mar 24, 2005 10:09am
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Uploading Flac vs Shn

As for etree's recommendation: I'm thinking of what I need for long-term archiving, not just etree's system. And for long-term archiving I must have the ability to adapt the compression software to my needs.

The license you linked to has no language which allow licensees to change the software. Hence, any licensee who changed the code did not do so with the permission of this license. This license goes so far as to try to restrict use for commercial purposes (which I'm not sure is allowed in US Copyright law). Hence, clearly the software is non-free and thus unsuitable for long-term archiving.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffDiana Hamilton Date: Mar 24, 2005 10:36am
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Uploading Flac vs Shn

I'm not sure is allowed in US Copyright law

Not sure if it's relevant, but Tony Robinson appears to be British. ;)

...Anyway, personal non circulating stuff would of course be acceptable to change over. But if it's going to be flying around to anyone outside your house, please do decently document the changeover in an updated text file, thanks! Take it from a sources db volunteer- it's a super headache to deal with mystery changes in the trading pool!

This post was modified by Diana Hamilton on 2005-03-24 18:36:49

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: Ole Uncle John Date: Mar 24, 2005 7:15pm
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Uploading Flac vs Shn

As a non tech person I have no idea what you are all talking about but I want to thank you for posting a thread other than "favorite version of.." ;)

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: captain ten hits Date: Mar 24, 2005 10:27pm
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Uploading Flac vs Shn

i have noticed that many text files of the gd and phil show how they were originally encoded to shn files. many do not document the process of recoding the shn to flac by the (?etree team/mods).

aren't you telling him not to do the same thing that etree has done to these gd/phil seeds? especially since many of the gd shows were already widely circulated in shn format by other file distributors. [granted that there might not "seem" to be an "important enough" reason yet to convert shn to flac for most users.]

i hope you find me coherent this morning. thanks for your time and all that you do for etree and the internet archive.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffDiana Hamilton Date: Mar 25, 2005 12:01am
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Uploading Flac vs Shn

Re the Phil Lesh collection, it's being handled by folks who are also admins over at http://db.etree.org/shncirc/phil
I understand they are entering the complementary flac fileset checksums into the existing source records there, fully avoiding the "mystery fileset" problem. You can also search for something like
lesh flac
on the Forums here to see how Matt gives a heads up about the idea. It would be easy to update the general Phil section notes here too to describe better what's up with the collection (we can look at that).

Re the GD stuff, that's also a special collection here, with again Matt at least overlapping between projects here and at http://db.etree.org/shncirc/gd
However, I was unaware the same straight shn>flac changeover might be planned with any GD items too. So, can you cite some specific examples (with urls here and/or in the db) for me to look into where there might be a point of confusion? Thanks!

I'm a GD db admin too and would indeed wish to avoid any headaches over there...

This post was modified by Diana Hamilton on 2005-03-25 08:01:37

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffMatt Vernon Date: Mar 25, 2005 5:34am
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Uploading Flac vs Shn

We recently converted all the Phil Lesh shns -> flac before making them live on the Internet Archive. We used shntool to do the comparisons to confirm the conversions were correct. shntool has a nifty option where it can compute the md5 checksum for the "wav" files for each format free of any header/footer blocks. This way we could show that the 16 bit audio information was the same for the flac files we created from the shn files. I thought the shntool authors did a very insightful thing here. I also think there is great utility in generating a single md5 signature file for the flac files and using this to confirm that you have all the files for a given seed after downloading.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffBrad Leblanc Date: Mar 25, 2005 5:40am
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Uploading Flac vs Shn

We recently converted all the Phil Lesh shns -> flac before making them live on the Internet Archive.

There's been theoretical talk in the past of doing this to the whole collection here. The main push for it was that SHN, being a proprietary format, is just not suitable for being the "archival" format in comparison with an open source alternative.

However, due to the amount of work on the plates of the engineers, this has been shelved for about 3 years... :)

-Brad

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffMatt Vernon Date: Mar 25, 2005 5:58am
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Uploading Flac vs Shn

The main block at this point is to get the flac-md5 sigantures automatically added to the correct shnid on the etree database.

for phil we did this manually

the perl script we use for the shn > flac runs on whole drives so it shouldn't be that hard to convert existing shn content on the servers.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffBrad Leblanc Date: Mar 25, 2005 6:02am
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Uploading Flac vs Shn

the perl script we use for the shn > flac runs on whole drives so it shouldn't be that hard to convert existing shn content on the servers.

Rockin... can you send me this Matt?

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffMatt Vernon Date: Mar 25, 2005 10:06am
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Uploading Flac vs Shn

parker has it, i.e. the debugged version